After weeks of protesting, a massive demo outside the fire station and petitions, lobbying etc. the County Council were forced to organise a public meeting (due for 7th Feb) to explain why they needed to axe Staines Fire Station and to listen to people's concerns. When they realised that possibly a thousand people were going to turn up, angry and determined, and ready to come to the lobby organised for the 23rd Feb, they backed down.
The County Council have been forced to drop their plan to close Staines Fire Station this year (before the planned new station opens in late 2018). Campaigners, firefighters and local trade unionists should be very pleased with themselves. This shows that serious and determined campaigning by a united community can win results.
The County Council still intend to close both our local stations when they open the new one - and with half the number of appliances and firefighters - watch this space, the battle for Staines has been won but there is still the overall war to save our fire services to win.
Some local Tory councillors and our local MP are belatedly trying to claim credit for the u-turn by SCC but this is hard to stomach when they all belong to the same austerity-driven, neoliberal, anti-public sector Tory Party. the credit for this victory belongs entirely to the firefighters and their supporters within the community who were prepared to stand up and be counted. Save Our Services in Surrey are proud to have been a part of that.
For more information and regular updates from Save Our Services in Surrey visit their website here: http://www.sosis.org.uk/news